The Wolfpacker

November-December 2023

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 36 of 51

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 ■ 37 BY ETHAN MCDOWELL fter winning three con- secutive ACC titles, the NC State women's bas- ketball team exited in the conference quarterfinals last season and finished the campaign with a one- point loss to Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The new-look Wolfpack, featuring eight first-year members of the pro- gram, will start the upcoming season outside of the Associated Press Top 25. Head coach Wes Moore will lead this group in season No. 11 with NC State. Team chemistry has been a major fo- cus in preseason practice. Despite all of the newcomers, junior point guard San- iya Rivers said the Pack clicked extremely quickly during the past few months. As the Pack approaches its season opener, players are bonding on and off the court — having team dinners, go- ing to volleyball games together and celebrating each other's birthdays as a way to build a cohesive bond that could translate to the court. The Wolfpack will need to replace the top four scorers from a team that went 20-12 a year ago. Diamond John- son (12.3 points per game), Jakia Brown- Turner (9.1) and Camille Hobby (8.8) each transferred, while Jada Boyd (9.2) decided not to use her final season of eligibility. To help address that scoring void, Moore signed four scholarship fresh- men and two transfers who can help provide an immediate boost. NC State starts the year with 11 scholarship ath- letes, including five members of last year's team who are back for another run with the Pack. Backcourt Rivers has returned for her second year with the Wolfpack after emerging into a major role last season. She started 12 matchups, averaging 28 minutes per FRESH LEGS NC State Complements Returnees With Transfers, Strong Freshman Class A Having played two seasons at NC State, including a junior campaign in which she started 25 games, guard Madison Hayes is the Wolfpack's longest-tenured player. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE ATHLETICS

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